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Changing specialities?

Travel   (5,849 Views | 25 Replies)

Therhapsody89 has 4 years experience and specializes in Psych, Med-surg, Travel.

881 Profile Views; 18 Posts

I've only been a nurse for 1 year, with a total of 3 years in adult psych. I recently accepted a travel nurse job and they said they can only place me in psych even though I am competent in the medical skills needed for a med surg floor. How do I change specialties? I don't want to work in psych. Ideally, ER is my goal, but I know I have to have some med floor experience. Am I ever going to be able to get that if nobody will place me anywhere other then a psych floor? I'm open to all advice and suggestions!

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46 Posts; 1,527 Profile Views

If a psych floor is not what you're looking floor or wanting to go back to then I wouldn't take the assignment. Because if you do happen to take the floor then you'll just be settling for anything. But it's ideally up to your decision if you choose to go through with it or not.

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SubSippi has 2 years experience.

907 Posts; 12,841 Profile Views

Why would they hire you into med surg with no experience? You'll get about two days of training on the floor then you'll be expected to function independently, which you will not be able to do with only psych experience. A minimum of one year of experience is usually required for travel nursing, and that's the reason why.

It'll be the same story with all specialities...nobody is going to let a med surg nurse take a travel assignment in an ICU, or let an ER nurse do psych.

If you want to change specialities, you'll have to do that as a FTE somewhere. Your best bet would be to take a psych position somewhere, and then start applying for ED positions after six months to a year.

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Therhapsody89 has 4 years experience and specializes in Psych, Med-surg, Travel.

18 Posts; 881 Profile Views

I've spoken with 8 other traveling agencies and they have all told me the same thing. I can only be placed on psych. I was hoping maybe if I could get my foot in the door I could be placed on another floor my 2nd assignment.

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Therhapsody89 has 4 years experience and specializes in Psych, Med-surg, Travel.

18 Posts; 881 Profile Views

I have the experience though, just not on paper. I've floated to cardiac, ER, med surg, surgery. I have the skills and I can take off on the floor running. I've been floating to other floors more than I work on my own floor.

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Argo has 10 years experience and specializes in Peri-Op.

1,221 Posts; 15,263 Profile Views

You have been an RN for 1 year, any other experience you think you have is null. Get over it. You do not have the experience.

If you want the experience, go back and get it. Unfortunately you are in a situation that you don't know what you don't know. That is dangerous for you and the patient, the agencies are protecting themselves but it trickles down to you and the patients too.

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3 Followers; 1 Article; 5,456 Posts; 46,072 Profile Views

Travel is not mainstream. At its peak, there are 30,000 travelers out of around 2.8 million working nurses. Travelers are hired to work, not to train. You have to get a real staff job at a hospital if you want educational benefits or to learn a new specialty. There is no secret information to be obtained by asking here after 8 agencies have told you the same thing.

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Therhapsody89 has 4 years experience and specializes in Psych, Med-surg, Travel.

18 Posts; 881 Profile Views

I understand what you are saying, and I'm more than happy to go get the experience. The hospital I was working full time as for the past 3 years has put my license at risk far too many times to stay there and get that experience. Nurse to Patient ratio was up to 14 patients a nurse. Only 1 rn in the entire 22 bed unit. The entire hospital was poorly run. I am more then willing to work in psych but was wondering during if there are opportunities for cross training or anything to increase my medical experience while traveling.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 106,335 Profile Views

I am more then willing to work in psych but was wondering during if there are opportunities for cross training or anything to increase my medical experience while traveling.

No, there aren't. Hospitals pay big bucks for travelers because they need a competent, experienced person in a specific specialty who can walk in and do the job with minimal orientation and supervision. If they wanted to "cross train" people, they would just hire a new regular employee. You are only valuable and marketable as a traveler in the specialities in which you are already competent and experienced.

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SubSippi has 2 years experience.

907 Posts; 12,841 Profile Views

I understand what you are saying, and I'm more than happy to go get the experience. The hospital I was working full time as for the past 3 years has put my license at risk far too many times to stay there and get that experience. Nurse to Patient ratio was up to 14 patients a nurse. Only 1 rn in the entire 22 bed unit. The entire hospital was poorly run. I am more then willing to work in psych but was wondering during if there are opportunities for cross training or anything to increase my medical experience while traveling.

Cross training won't be considered meaningful experience when you're looking for a travel assignment. There's no short way around, if you want to work in a speciality as a travel nurse then you need to have worked full time in that speciality for at LEAST a year.

Just start applying for jobs at other hospitals...depending on what area you live in, you might be able to easily get an ED position in a new facility. I know you could where I work, we are so short staffed they hire just about anyone with a pulse!

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,952 Posts; 173,065 Profile Views

When you travel, you get a week or less of orientation. They want you to be able to hit the ground running in your specialty. If what you want to do is ER, get a job in ER. Pick a place where you'd like to live for two years, and apply for ER, Med/Surg or ICU jobs there. Once you've had two years of experience in the specialty of your choice, THEN you can travel with that specialty. But not before.

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12 Posts; 688 Profile Views

hello, if you wanna work to a different area other than psych. you should apply a full time job in a hospital, from there... 6 months after, you can request to be transfer to a different department. Good luck! :)

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